College Football OT: What Needs To Change?

Nick SheSenior Analyst IAugust 5, 2008

Let me start by acknowleding that college football and they way they work overtime is much better than the way we see it done in the NFL.  However, as good as college football's extra session is, it can be that much better if a few simple things were done.

The first problem with overtime in college football is that barring a turnover, teams start close enough to the end zone that they are already in field goal range.  What happens if we saw it where a team actually had to pick up a first down or two instead of automatically being in field goal range?  This would change strategy in the extra period, especially if a team needs only a field goal to win the game.  Make a team earn a chance to kick a field goal, don't let it be a given as long as they don't turn the football over.

My thoughts would be to start this at least at midfield, possibly even further back and then hold the same rules that overtime currently holds.  If a team comes up with a stop then they get the ball at midfield to begin with or whichever the magic yardmarker may be.

The inflated scores are the other part of overtime that drive me crazy.  Why when regulation ends with the score tied at 24 do we see final scores that consist of both teams scoring in the mid 40's or beyond?  There is no need for the stats and points in college football overtime to count, there is a better way to show the final score.

Instead of a final score reading 42-42 3OT, I would instead have it read 25-24 (3OT).  This way the touchdowns do not count for the offenses and defensive stats aren't torn to shreds when you see a final score that has them allowing over 40 points when in reality they only allowed half of them in regulation.

This will also help when postseason awards are handed out.  Are those the reason why we watch the games? Not solely but it is interesting nonetheless.  However, the stats appeared skewed because of overtime periods more often than not.

Why should one player benefit from getting to play in extra time on a shortened field when another player he is competing against does not play in an overtime game?  Sure we may get to see a quarterback pass for 7 or 8 touchdowns in a game but should something like that count for records if it takes place on what realistically is a 25 yard field?  Any logical mind here says that it should count towards the outcome of the game for sure, but nothing beyond that.

Like I have stated, college football comes as close as any football league in getting its overtime session right.  However, if teams had to work to kick field goals a bit more and if the stats in overtime sessions were thrown out it would make the overtime session that much better.